Saina Nehwal creates history, becomes first Indian woman player to become World No. 1
India's ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on Saturday became the first woman badminton player from the country to be ranked number one in the world.
New Delhi: India's ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on Saturday became the first woman badminton player from the country to be ranked number one in the world.
After reaching the semi-finals yesterday, all Saina needed was a favourable result from the match between Carolina Marin of Spain and Ratchanok Inaton of Thailand.
Both Saina and All England champion Marin entered the India Super Series tournament with an eye to become the World No.1. And, Inaton defeated the Spaniard in a thrilling women's singles semi-final at the Siri Fort Sports Complex. The Thai shuttler won the match in 21-19, 21-23, 22-20.
Later today, Saina will player her semi-final match against Japan's Yui Hashimoto, and irrespective of the result in that match, the 25-year-old will become world's highest ranked player.
She is the second Indian player to achieve this feat, after legendary Prakash Padukone.
Saina and Carolina tasted success early in the season as the former clinched the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold title defeating the Spaniard in the finals in Lucknow. Carolina, though, avenged the loss by inflicting a painful defeat on the Indian at the prestigious All England summit clash.
Badminton's world ranking takes into account a player's 10 best performances over the past 52 weeks. Saina now dislodged China's Li Xuerui from the top spot. Interestingly, the last time a non-Chinese achieved the World No. 1 status was in December, 2010 when Denmark's Tine Baun had claimed the honour.